Why You Shouldn't Add Extra Oil When Cooking Steak

You know the moment. You've got a hankering for a steak, but it's not in the cards to go to a fancy steakhouse at the moment. Your mouth waters as you think about slicing into a juicy New York strip or a tender-aged ribeye. "Why not make it at home?" you think, and you head to the grocery store. Then, you cook it to the best of your ability, but it just doesn't turn out the way it does in a restaurant. Insert sad face here. Nothing is more frustrating than preparing a beautiful piece of meat and having it turn out lackluster, but help is available.

When it comes to preparing a perfect steak, there are many tricks to consider that aren't always intuitive. First off, never wash the meat. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, washing meat and poultry can actually cause more harm than good. Bacteria can spread easily around your sink and kitchen counters when meat is splashed with water. Instead, consider Julia Child's trick of drying meat with paper towels first so it will brown nicely (via Tablespoon). Once your protein is ready for cooking, the biggest thing to consider is the oil and fat ratio.

Leave the meat alone

According to Pam Schwartz of Ranch 45 Restaurant and Butchery in Solana Beach, CA, the biggest mistake you might make when cooking steak at home is using too much oil (per Eat This, Not That!). While adding extra oil to a pan seems like a way to prevent the meat from sticking, it can backfire by resulting in greasy steaks that don't get the kind of brown crust you want. A half a teaspoon or less of your desired cooking oil should do the trick. Schwartz also warns against moving your steak around multiple times: The goal is to turn the meat only once.

According to Steak Specialist, you don't need to use oil when grilling a steak. The trick with the stove top and grill methods is to ensure the cooking surface is super hot before putting the meat down. That way, it will sear nicely and be easier to turn when it's time. Still nervous? Here are the biggest mistakes you're making with steak. Next time you crave red meat, you'll be able to prepare it like a pro.